Having to admit you need some form of care can be a very difficult time for the elderly, especially if it means leaving the comfort of your own home. In many circumstances though, this doesn’t have to be the case. Depending on the level of care required, you may be able to take advantage of a ‘Domiciliary Care’ package.
What Is Domiciliary Care?
Domiciliary care is when a qualified care worker comes to your home to help you with certain day-to-day tasks. This can include essential activities, such as shopping, personal care, housework, helping with medication, getting in and out of bed and cooking. This means that many of the key issues when it comes to loneliness in the elderly can be improved and alleviated, alongside making day to day life that bit easier.
Many elderly people find themselves in a situation where they have a lack of human interaction and only the TV for company. This is where a visit from a domiciliary care worker can be invaluable. These carers are not only there to help with day-to-day chores. They are also someone to talk to, which can make a huge difference to an elderly person’s day.
With a regular visit from a domiciliary carer, often a strong bond can be formed with someone you can trust. These regular visits become an absolutely vital lifeline for many elderly people.
This is one tool to fight elderly loneliness, but it’s not the only one by any means. Help from friends, family members and even neighbours can go a long way in improving loneliness when getting older.
However, some people aren’t lucky enough to have many people in their life who are willing or able to take time out to visit them. And it’s in these occasions where the domiciliary care package is most vital.
That’s why we offer such an adaptable service. We understand that everyone’s situation is different and that one size does not fit all. By understanding you as an individual, we can ensure we are offering the most appropriate care at all times.
The Health Impact of Loneliness
Research from the Campaign to End Loneliness shows that loneliness can have a huge impact, not only on our mental health, but our physical health too. This is due to a number of issues:
Lonely elderly people are at a higher risk of the onset of disability
Loneliness and isolation’s effects on mortality exceeds the impact of risks such as obesity and cigarette smoking, with an estimated mortality increase of 26%
This is in part due to loneliness increasing both high blood pressure and the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
Elderly isolation can also have a dramatic effect on mental health, with a higher risk of cognitive decline and an estimated 64% increase in dementia risk, alongside a higher risk of depression
When Loneliness Is Most Likely To Strike
Combatting loneliness is an important issue that often gets overlooked. As people get older, they may lose friends and family or even their spouse. These tragic events can often spark a change in attitude, with some people becoming very withdrawn and losing their confidence altogether.
Another time when loneliness becomes a bigger issue than usual is during the holiday season. These feelings can also intensify during dates of significance, which may bring back painful memories of lost loved ones.
Things You Can Do To Help Yourself Overcome Loneliness
Domiciliary care packages are a wonderful tool when it comes to overcoming loneliness in elderly people. However, there are ways you can alleviate those feelings yourself.
Inviting people over: Often we can be our own worst enemies, and we’ll avoid making contact with others because we worry they won’t want to spend time with us. Often we’ll find that the other person was thinking exactly the same way and a simple invitation is all it takes.
Utilising technology: Computers can provide an excellent way of staying in touch with people and in general, they operate as a gateway to the outside world. However, the telephone might still be the best way of improving your situation. After all, the easiest way of getting in contact with someone is by being the first to pick up the phone.
Getting involved and keeping busy: When we feel lonely, sometimes those feelings can make it hard for us to stay motivated to get out and do something. However, we think you’ll find that the more you do, the more energy you’ll have. Keeping busy will have your mind occupied, particularly if you do so with social activities.
Looking into elderly charity services: For some lonely elderly people charity can provide a vital point of contact. Organisations like Age UK offer befriending services, where you can talk to people over the phone or meet up with them face to face to share life stories and build valuable new friendships.
With these steps, alongside domiciliary care packages, we think you’ll be amazed at how much the feelings and issues caused by loneliness can improve.